Loftus volunteer honoured for nearly 20 years with Camp Quality

She's spent almost 20 years giving her time to others, and now Liz Hill has been recognised for her unending service.

The Loftus resident has been awarded Camp Quality's NSW Gillard Award for her work with the children's charity.

Ms Hill said the honour was "very unexpected".

"I was quite shocked actually," she said.

"I'm really humbled by it. When I got the phone call I cried - I didn't know how to take it or how to respond.

"I'm very, very honoured."

Camp Quality announces its annual Gillard Awards during National Volunteer Week (May 17-23).

Next year will mark the 44-year-old's 20th year volunteering her time with Camp Quality.

Ms Hill plays a crucial role in the organisation's camps, which is run to give kids facing cancer the chance to make positive memories which are not centred on their diagnoses.

Camp Quality Family Program Coordinator Mandy Hawley said that Ms Hill always took on any extra jobs and roles at camp with enthusiasm and excellence.

"Her sense of fun and warmth and the way she gets into all the activities eases the minds of those that may be apprehensive, shy or scared," Ms Hawley said.

"Liz encourages everyone's participation by sharing the sheer joy of the activity, the situation and making fun of herself so they feel like they are in a safe environment where anything is possible".

Ms Hill said she got into working with Camp Quality when she was looking for an organisation with which to volunteer her time.

"I was looking for a children's charity to get involved with," she said.

"I don't have children myself, but I wanted to do something with children and a colleague of mine told be about Camp Quality, because her sister was a volunteer.

"My main role has been as a companion, which means I go away on camps with the children and provide encouragement as an adult mentor.

"We get to do things like archery, high ropes, canoeing, fishing - it depends which site we're at.

"Sometimes the kids might be scared of doing an activity, so we talk them through it and encourage them.

"There's also things like craft, treasure hunts, disco nights, trivia nights and talent quests."

Ms Hill said she had moved into a leadership team role in the past few years, acting as a companion support officer.

She now mentors other companions - "especially the new vollies" - to teach them what to expect, given them training and support them if they have any issues.

Ms Hill said getting to experience the campers' joy is what has kept her coming back year on year.

"It's seeing the smiles on the campers' faces, seeing them conquering their fears and seeing the kids have a chance to just be kids," she said.

"All those outside dramas - they're not at camp.

"At camp they can run around with their faces painted, have bundles of energy and just bounce around.

"It's just amazing and so rewarding.

"The campers are 100 per cent what brings me back each year. I've made lifelong friends from being part of Camp Quality - it's phenomenal."

Ms Hill said anyone looking for a worthy way to volunteer their time should look no further than Camp Quality.

"I could not encourage somebody enough, it's a whole lot of fun," she said.

"It's rewarding on every level.

"And it's brilliantly exhausting - if you come back from camp with any energy left, you haven't gone hard enough."